Bo Monahan is happy for his brother, who has just married a journalist who is popularising Wishing Spring, Texas, as a location of single men looking for wives. Bo might be single, but that doesn’t mean he’s looking for commitment. But commitment finds Bo, in the form of Levi, a baby who is left on his doorstep, apparently his son.
Abby Knightley lost her husband two years ago, and still has recovered--or stopped blaming herself. She’s read Maggie’s columns, and decided a move to Wishing Springs is what she needs. She’s not looking for a husband, just for hope. But she can’t help falling for Levi, and being attracted to his handsome father.
I did like progression of the relationship between Abby and Bo, although I found Abby annoying at times. Sure, I could understand her animosity towards drunk drivers, but that didn’t (in my view) necessitate her hatred of a character merely because he drank. That’s like hating all men because one hurt you, or hating all Australians because they beat us in rugby (sometimes). It just seemed immature.
Counting on a Cowboy is the second book in Clopton’s new Four of Hearts Ranch series. Like the first, it’s a little formulaic, with most of the focus on the main couple but some slightly awkward scenes from the viewpoint of minor characters (mostly awkward because I was wondering why bit players were viewpoint characters). There were also some oddities around Levi—he was first described as a baby, then we found out he turned one a month ago, then he was twelve months old, then he was less than a year … I suspect I was reading an unproofed version, so let’s hope those glitches are picked up before it is printed.
The other thing missing was the Christian content. Counting on a Cowboy is from Thomas Nelson, a major CBA publishing house, yet the Christian content is best described as sparse. Abby goes to church once; Bo not at all. Both characters make occasional references to God or prayer, but faith isn’t a major theme for either character, despite forgiveness being a major issue for Abby. (In fact, God seems to be more important to the minor characters).
Overall, Counting on a Cowboy had potential, but felt as if it was trying to replicate a successful formula at the expense of originality. A solid read, but not something I’d re-read.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Debra Clopton at her website.
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